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Please help! Unhappy Hen, bloated, lethargic, inactive, diarrhea

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by dawniemc, Mar 19, 2011.

  1. dawniemc

    dawniemc Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 24, 2009
    [​IMG] We have had 2 hens for 2 years and one of them has become very inactive, a bit bloated, won't eat and when my husband went to pick her up she just let out diarrhea : ( She seems lethargic and has trouble keeping her eyes open and right now she is staying in the corner in the coop and will not respond or eat. She is just standing there unhappy and bloated.

    We live in the Torrance area of Los Angeles and we have a nice back yard and they get plenty of veggies, scratch, mash and most recently some all purpose pellets in addition to some Oyster Shell. I am not sure if she is reaching the height of her chicken years. She did not lay through the winter but the other one did. No surprise with it being winter but this is Los Angeles and they laid all last winter but then again it was a bit colder than usual this year, so we were not concerned. Any suggestions?

    I was going to mix some cod liver oil with some spinach in case she is backed up. We both recently lost our jobs and are on a tight budget and we have limited vets to see chickens and they charge a lot. I do not want her to suffer and will take her in if necessary, but if anyone has been through this or has any suggestions I would love to hear from you. Thanks, Dawn - She is on the left.

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    Last edited: Mar 20, 2011
  2. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    I would guess this is a problem with her egg laying system since she stopped laying but the other one is laying. Perhaps internal laying. Not much a vet could do, I'm afraid. Try a search on internal laying and see what you think. Especially look at Speckledhen's threads.
     
  3. dawniemc

    dawniemc Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 24, 2009
    There is nothing we can do? What are some of the signs. I do recall a shell-less age once passing not too long ago. I honestly thought the lack of egg production was due to the cooler weather and that it was no reason to be concerned : ( I appreciate your reading and response.
     
  4. dawniemc

    dawniemc Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 24, 2009
    is internal laying the same thing as egg peritontitis?
     
  5. dawniemc

    dawniemc Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 24, 2009
    We brought her in and put her in a large crate with a heating pad under some towels and gave her yogurt and fresh water. She has not eating or drinking. Any help or advice would be appreciated. [​IMG]
     
  6. stevesgirls

    stevesgirls New Egg

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    We had 4 chickens last year and two died. The first one was acting the same way, no eating, droopy wings, sitting in corner with eyes closed. She tried to walk but was very wobbly. She died after about three weeks of this. The second one, Amy, started doing the same thing. They both had diarrhea and were laying shell less eggs. I talked with my vet and they put me in touch with the Washington State University avian clinic. I called them and they said that when she died, to soak her in soapy water and package her up with dry ice to have her sent in overnight. She died about an hour after speaking with them. My husband packaged her up and they did an "autopsy" the next day when they received her. She died of a tumor in her egg laying track. They told us the other one had probably died of the same thing.
    They asked if our chickens had been vaccinated for Merecks (?) disease. I guess this disease can cause tumors in chickens. I called the place that we purchased them from and they do not vaccinate their chicks. They have to be vaccinated on with day one or two, and they say day one is better. I know this might not help your chicken now. If nothing else, it made us aware that there are vaccinations out there for when they're little and it is worth it. Murray McMurray Hatchery vaccinates all their chicks up request.
     
  7. stevesgirls

    stevesgirls New Egg

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    We had 4 chickens last year and two died. The first one was acting the same way, no eating, droopy wings, sitting in corner with eyes closed. She tried to walk but was very wobbly. She died after about three weeks of this. The second one, Amy, started doing the same thing. They both had diarrhea and were laying shell less eggs. I talked with my vet and they put me in touch with the Washington State University avian clinic. I called them and they said that when she died, to soak her in soapy water and package her up with dry ice to have her sent in overnight. She died about an hour after speaking with them. My husband packaged her up and they did an "autopsy" the next day when they received her. She died of a tumor in her egg laying track. They told us the other one had probably died of the same thing.
    They asked if our chickens had been vaccinated for Merecks (?) disease. I guess this disease can cause tumors in chickens. I called the place that we purchased them from and they do not vaccinate their chicks. They have to be vaccinated on with day one or two, and they say day one is better. I know this might not help your chicken now. If nothing else, it made us aware that there are vaccinations out there for when they're little and it is worth it. Murray McMurray Hatchery vaccinates all their chicks up request.
     
  8. dawniemc

    dawniemc Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 24, 2009
    Thank you so much for sharing this with me. I took her to the vet and they said she was so distressed and full of fluid and she struggling to breath. There was evidence of upper respitory problems and egg peritonitis which means the yolks were depositing into her abdomen. Poor baby. They did not think she would make it over night and not withstand procedures they recommended euthenasia. I should have known not laying eggs in so cal is probably an issue although it was colder than usual but she definitely showed evidence with the soft shelled egg passing. I did get her from a feed store and you are probably right that she was not vaccinated. I appreciate your sharing this. She was sweet and had a good life. We will miss her.
     
  9. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    Steve's girls, the tumor in the oviduct is what happens with internal laying--it really is not a tumor, but egg yolks and solid infection, all layered together. I've lost 9 to it and will soon lose a 10th. Egg peritonitis is sort of how internal laying starts, so essentially, they end up being the same ailment. There is no prevention and no cure. High production hens die of this quite often. Hens are the only animals that get spontaneous ovarian cancers like human women and they are studied because of this.

    Did the "tumor" look similar to these? This all came from one hen:
    [​IMG]

    This thread may be helpful to you. https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=362422
     
  10. NHchicks

    NHchicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    speckledhen, why do you figure you have had so many chickens affected with this? Is it because you have a lot of hens in general, or do you think it was a genetic thing?
     

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